It's a pretty good book. A lot of it is blather, a lot of it is impenetrable. A lot of the time he doesn't really develop an argument but simply digresses from one series of associated assertions to another. But for all these problems, he is excellent at recommending great works to read and giving his own rather idiosyncratic explanations for why they are great.
Anyway, more Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman wrote:
Trippers and askers surround me,
People I meet . . . . the effect upon me of my early life . . . . of the
. . . ward and city I live in . . . . of the nation,
The latest news . . . . discoveries, inventions, societies . . . . authors
. . . old and new,
My dinner, dress, associates, looks, business, compliments, dues,
The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,
The sickness of one of my folks—or of myself . . . . or ill-doing . . . .
. . . or loss or lack of money . . . . or depressions or exaltations,
They come to me days and night and go from me again,
But they are not the Me myself.
Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle, unitary,
Looks down, is erect, bends an arm on an impalpable certain rest,
Looks with its sidecurved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game, and watching and wondering at it.
Backward I see in my own days where I sweated through fog with
. . . linguists and contenders,
I have no mockings or arguments . . . . I witness and wait.